RIP: Unknown Search Terms

What a week, huh? Kray up here in tha DC, y’all, what with the government shutdown and all the crazy effects of that — veterans storming World War II memorials, DC metro saying it will run fewer train cars, and, worst of all, no panda cam at the National Zoo. Then there was that whole crazy car chase/shooting business yesterday.

How can you be so cruel, Congress?
How can you be so cruel, Congress?

All of that (plus the end of “Breaking Bad” — sooooo good; and total work insanity), has distracted us from a true travesty: the end of unknown search terms.

You see, one of the greatest and most amusing features of WordPress was a feature that rounded up terms used in search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing, that somehow led people to your blog. For example, someone found my blog recently by searching for “grand theft auto widow.”

Anyway, this list of search terms brought me a ton of pleasure and laughs. Whenever I found a particularly weird search term, I would post it on Facebook or Twitter as a Totally Random Search Term that Brought Someone to thePoelog, also known as TRSTBS for short. And I would speculate exactly what kind of person would have been searching for that term. Here’s an example from September 11: Totally random search term that brought someone to thePoeLog “rat on a treadmill videos.” Welcome, Pied Piper in training.

Sadly, the search term feature is being relocated to a nice family farm out in the country, never to be heard from again. Here’s what WordPress says:

In September 2013 Google started to rapidly expand the number of searches that it encrypts, which results in a higher proportion of “Unknown search terms” in your stats.  According to some sources, this expansion will eventually result in encryption of all Google searches.  This is being done for privacy reasons by Google when someone searches at Google.com, before a visitor arrives at your WordPress.com site.  Therefore we don’t have any way to unhide the search terms.  We recognize this means a loss of stats information for you and we will look for other ways to show you how users arrived at your site.

Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/google-encrypting-all-searches-nj
Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/google-encrypting-all-searches-nj

Damn you Google! And Edward Snowden! And NSA, who really, when you think about it, started this whole nonsense to begin with. Listen, I got nothing to hide. If NSA wants to look at pictures of my chubby cat and whatever deliciousness XFE has made us for dinner, knock yourselves out. I live my life loud and proud.

However, other people do not really feel the same way I do and like their privacy to remain intact. But now, NSA, you’ve gone and made everyone all wild-eyed and outraged and who pays the price? Cultural observers such as myself who get a snicker out of people finding my blog while searching for “Kate Middleton porno.” (Can’t you just imagine their disappointment?)

kate compares

So far, however, I do have a list of the last month’s search terms that I’ve copied and saved. So, I thought we’d have a little Irish wake here, pour some wine (one for me and one for my fallen homies) and do a little Q&A using a small sampling of those last Totally Random Search Terms that Brought Someone to thePoeLog.

What to pack for doomsday — This is a very good question. Also, quite philosophical. On the one hand, does it really matter? After all, it’s doomsday. But, maybe our erstwhile searcher is an optimist and expects to survive and carry on the human species, perhaps with the assistance of one mighty fine Matthew McConaughey, for example. In that case, you might want to pack something lingerie, a nice sturdy box of wine, a sleeping bag, and a gun. The gun, mind you, isn’t to use on Matthew. It’s to protect Matthew from other the clutches of other lady survivors.

matthewut

How to get in touch with duck dynasty — Well, shouldn’t be too hard. West Monroe is a pretty small place. Population is only 13,000. I think if you hung around the Circle K long enough, you’re bound to run into one of those long-bearded fellas. Or, you could probably start going to their church. Or just stop by Duck Commander headquarters. They say on their website that, “We would be HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY for you to come by and say “HEY”.  You can even pay them to hang out with you, according to the website: for information on booking the Duckmen please visit WME Speakers at ducks@wmeentertainment.com

Is hilary from love it or list it pregnant — I haven’t been watching it lately (we’ve got three episodes hanging out on the DVR), so I don’t really know. But (and no offense here), she seems a bit old to be starting a family. I would guess the answer to this question would probably be no. Now Desta on the other hand, I believe she’s fairly recently married, so that would make sense. And if Hilary is pregnant, congratulations and good luck.

When is gold rush coming back on discovery channel — The Hoffman Knucklehead Crue are back on Discovery Channel on October 25. According to this blog: “In season four of GOLD RUSH, Todd Hoffman puts his life on the line, and asks his crew to do the same, braving malaria, poisonous snakes and quicksand to set up a mining operation in a patch of hostile jungle deep in Guyana, South America.” We saw a few preview episodes on Discovery a few months back, and it looks like plenty of bad decisions ahead.

Can you get brain eating amoebas feom bath water — I believe that should be “from” and my guess is yes. Brain eating amoebas are everywhere and we should all be afraid of them. Best to just take showers whilst holding your breath. But you might want to have a chair in the shower. If you pass out from holding your breath, amoeba-carrying water will definitely get up your nose and eat your brain.

Death and danger are everywhere. A pink floatie will not save you.
Death and danger are everywhere. A pink floatie will not save you.

When men reading shades of grey — I’m not familiar with the book “Shades of Grey,” so I’m guessing you mean “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  Also, this query seems to be missing some very important connecting words here, which changes the possible answers a bit. If you are asking “When do you find men reading fifty shades of grey,” then the answer is most likely when they think they won’t be caught, so maybe when they’re in the tub enjoying a nice bubble bath? If your question is, “what to do when men [are?] reading fifty shades of grey,” my advice is to avert your eyes and calmly and slowly walk away without drawing attention to the awkward situation. The obvious caveat here is that no man should be reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Even Matthew McConaughey.

I feel nervous about an upcoming trip — Totally understandable. Travel can be exciting but scary. After all, a lot of things can happen — the plane might crash, your luggage might get lost, the car rental place might be closed, the hotel might have lost your reservation, the roads might be blocked by protesting fishermen, you might eat bad salami and be violently ill for 10 days in one of the world’s great gourmet regions. Or, you might get a brain eating amoeba from taking a bath while reading “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

That would be a highway closed by protesting fishermen on our trip to Peru.
That would be a highway closed by protesting fishermen on our trip to Peru.

But, it’s all worth it because travel provides you with an opportunity to brag about all the great places you’ve been and all the great things you’ve seen on your very own blog. See? Don’t you feel better already?

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I Got 99 Vices and Modesty Ain’t One

So, I know it might be hard to tell by this whole blog thing, but I’m about as perfect as Kate Moss without makeup.

Here’s a partial list of some of my most annoying vices.

I’ve got a wee bit of a potty mouth.—I cuss. A lot. Around people I should not be cussing around. Like professional colleagues, and older people, and children. Every year I make the same New Year’s resolution and every year I fail at about 12:03. In my defense (but really, it’s indefensible), I do come from a long line of cussers. There have even been a few truck drivers that have married and/or shacked up with family members, so I do come by it honestly. Cussing is a high art in the West Texas trailer parks where I come from.

"Yikes that girl sure can cuss like a sailor! Hope the Queen didn't hear her."

I’m a big old braggert.—Total Braggy McBraggerton, in case you couldn’t tell by this whole blog, which is pretty much a vehicle for me to brag and push my opinions on others. I actually have a pretty good excuse for this. I had a really, really crappy childhood. I grew up in some not-so-nice conditions, like the type of conditions that people write books about. Like, say, Jeannette Wall’s The Glass Castle or Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club. Just for example. Growing up, I really didn’t have much in life to brag about. In fact, I had a lot to complain about. But I survived it, I worked hard and got out of my super crappy situation, and now, my life is pretty f-ing awesome. In my opinion, I’ve earned the right to brag and so I do.

I like to tell “stories.”—And sometimes those stories are “revised” to make them more interesting. This particularly happens with stories relating to my relationship with my Boyfriend-for-Life, XFE.  I tend to do it when relaying a story to other friends about something involving both of us, and XFE definitely calls me out on it. It’s usually just a slight tweak or tiny white lie, but I can’t seem to help myself.

"No really Zara, you're wedding was just as nice as mine, perhaps even nicer, really. Sure, sure."

And, again, I would defer to my childhood, where there were quite a few tall-tale tellers (ok, pathological liars) who liked to tell people they were raised by their grandfather on a horse ranch in Mexico and never saw electricity until they were sold into basically white slavery when they were married off at the tender age of 18. (I swear, I’m not making that story up. One of my very close relatives used to tell people that. It is, obviously, not true). Also, we moved around A LOT until I was about 13 years old, so timelines and facts are a very amorphous concept to me. I really do sometimes struggle with memory.

I think I have reverse body dysmorphia.—Unlike anorexics who think they’re fat, I tend to think I’m thinner than I actually am. I don’t keep a scale in the house, but when I do weigh myself, I’m absolutely shocked by the number (145, by the way). I grew up super skinny (I was a size zero until I was about 30 years old), with all kinds of boney-ness, so I still think of myself as a thin person.

Now, I’m not delusional. I’m not walking around in clothes that are way too small and tight because I refuse to try on a size 8. I don’t give a crap about the number on the label because again, I think I’m the diggity bomb. So I don’t let pesky things like a number on a label get in the way of that pseudo-fact. This whole reverse body image hasn’t caused any problems other than the scale surprise. I just always assume the scales are wrong since I like what I see in the mirror. (Not as much as this girl who has a song called, “Damn I Look Good.” Awesome.)

Size 8, I wish I were a size 8! I guess I need some of that XFE cooking so I too can have an awesome bod.

I’m opinionated and think others care.—This, I don’t know where it comes from. I’ve always been a know-it-all–can’t blame this one on the upbringing. And I have no filter whatsoever. Crap just flies out of my mouth, unsolicited. I’d like to be able to say I’m just a shoot-from-the-hip kinda gal, but honestly, I think it can be uber-annoying and I should really cut it out. I think that whole, “I’m just being honest” junk is an excuse for being thoughtless. I actually spend a lot of time backtracking with people and apologizing for stuff that I suspect came off as quite rude.  Nobody needs to hear everything going on in my head. And I’m not the authority on everything. Yet.

"Tut, tut, that’s enough. Nobody wants to hear your opinion. A proper princess knows when to keep her trap shut!"

Anyone else have any annoying habits/vices they want to fess up to? Any other know-it-alls out there? Should we have a dance off to see who is really “Damn I Look Good” worthy?